How to Survive a Norwegian Airlines Flight

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How to Survive a Norwegian Airlines Flight

how to survive a norwegian airlines flight

When I made the decision to come back home early, I started looking at flights.  If I had known my return date, I would have booked a round trip flight.  Obviously, I did not though so I had to book another one way flight which proved to not be the cheapest option.  Until I ran across a Norwegian Airlines flight in the searches.  It was half the cost, but would basically double my travel time.  A 13 hour flight to Norway, then a 10 hour flight to Ft Lauderdale where I would then switch airlines to get to Chicago.

I was willing to sacrific my sanity though to save 400 bucks.  I had never heard anything about Norwegian Airlines but I love everything about Norway so just assumed I’d love it too.  Until, I started reading reviews AFTER I booked the flight.  Because I read these reviews, I prepared myself.

Others may not realize all the little idiosyncracies of this airlines though and so I thought I’d write this handy-dandy guide.

1.  Bring some version of a blanket.

I’ve never been on an international flight that didn’t provide blankets and pillows.  Of course, they aren’t the best blankets and pillows.  But, they are there.  Not on Norwegian Airlines though.  You can BUY a blanket and a crap one at that.  And, trust me when I say that they keep the flight FREEZING COLD so you would give up your right arm for a blanket.

So, to save yourself from buying one, bring layers first of all.  Then a scarf, a sarong, gloves, a hat…okay maybe that’s a bit crazy.  But, I will say I had a lightweight jacket, a scarf, and a sarong and I was pretty cold still but I’m always cold.

Here is a great lightweight travel blanket.

2.  Buy snacks and drinks before boarding.

This is the only time I would actually say that airport food is cheaper.  You do NOT get a meal OR snack OR even water with Norwegian Airlines.  Not for free at least.  You can either pre-pay when you get your tickets and get a hot meal.  If you don’t pre-pay, a hot meal isn’t even an option once on board.

You then can only get snacks and drinks but ONLY during a small window of time – like 30 minutes a few different times during the flight.

In addition, my neighbor did get one of these snack items which had chicken in it.  After purchasing it through the menu on your in-seat screen, they then came by and said they don’t have that item.  That she can have something similar with beef in it.

So, my advice would be to buy whatever it is you actually want to eat in the airport to take on the flight.  I did this before the first flight (Bangkok – Norway) then ate a meal in the Norway airport and then bought snacks for the 2nd flight (Norway – Florida).  Others would maybe just rather pay for each item in flight but I’d rather not when the food isn’t even what I want anyway.

Vegan jerky is a great flight snack to bring.

3.  Bring your own headphones.

Not much to expand on here but bring your own.  You’ll have to purchase them otherwise.  In-flight entertainment is free.  Thank goodness!  I like headphones like this because they stay in my ears and you don’t need a cord!

4.  The ever-important topic of baggage.

There are no checked bags for free on Norwegian Airlines.  Not really a shock these days though with international flights.

You can carry on one bag (not to exceed 10kg) and one personal item.  I had read in advance that they are SUPER strict about this.  My bag was within the measurement restriction but most definitely not within the weight restriction.  I just crossed my fingers and panicked inside until I made it on board without having my bag weighed.  I would not count on this though based on all the things I read.

If you carry a backpack (mine was 35L) and carry it like it weighs nothing, you’ll most likely be okay.  I would, however, have the funds available to check your bag if they make you.

Reminder: Wear as many of your clothing items as you can.  Carry your camera (you can hand-carry it and it will not count as part of your weight limit).  Wear your heaviest shoes.

It’s not all bad

  • Each seat has it’s own USB charging port.
  • Bigger windows with dimmers instead of shades.
  • Increased humidity on flight which apparently means less jetlag.
  • Overall pleasant flight crew.

In all seriousness, Norwegian Airlines wasn’t a bad airline.  It’s just one to be prepared for or you could be really surprised about all the expenses you COULD incur on what you thought was a cheap flight.

Overall, the flight was well worth it for the price difference.  Given that I did my research beforehand, I didn’t even mind the above things.  If I had not known though, I would have definitely been miserable for 13 hours – freezing, hungry, expensive bags and no entertainment unless dishing out a lot of money would have been terrible.

Have you ever flown Norwegian Airlines?  What were your thoughts? 

how to survive a norwegian airlines flight

Traveler. Freelance Writer. Blogger. Vegan. Risk Taker. Voice for the Voiceless.

19 Comments

  1. Ed Rex

    January 9, 2015 at 3:27 AM

    Haha,

    I was actually thinking of getting a Norwegian Flight from London to New York. I imagine as tit’s miles cheaper, of course you aren’t going to get all the benefits as you would with a more expensive flight.

    Just out of curiosity, were you coming back from Thailand to Norway?

  2. Karyn Jane

    January 9, 2015 at 4:28 AM

    This was a good heads up! I learnt the hard way a few years ago that cheap flights are cheap for a reason and I found myself in 6.5 hours of misery because I hadn’t done the research properly. Definitely a good idea to plan ahead!

    (P.S. It looks like the link to your post in the #WeekendWanderlust linkup is broken…it wouldn’t load for me so I had to come to your page directly).

  3. Lyn@thetravellinglindfields

    January 10, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    It doesn’t sound too bad to me. You have obviously never travelled on Aerolineas Argentinas or Viva Macau (currently in liquidation) – lol. I’m not sure we will ever fly Norwegian Airlines but if we do I will remember your tips. Thanks.

  4. Natasha Amar

    January 10, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    Some good tips here! I’ve had similar experiences on budget airlines but had no idea about Norweigan Airlines. Will keep this in mind for the future, thanks for sharing!

  5. Katherine Belarmino | Travel the World

    January 10, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    We flew Norwegian Airlines when we went to Denmark last year. The flight was so cheap and it was a direct flight from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, which was awesome. We had a very good experience. I did pay the extra to check luggage, choose our seats, and get a meal, and that was the best decision I made. We’re flying them again within Sweden in a couple months.

  6. Amanda @ MarocMama

    January 11, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    I have flown Norwegian twice. Oslo to Marrakech and Marrakech to Helsinki (via Oslo). I have zero complaints. They were so easy, professional, and I never felt like it was a budget airline (when comparing to EasyJet/Ryanair/Spirit Airlines). For a short flight (5 hrs or less) I didn’t see any problems at all, packed snacks and entertainment – there’s free wifi onboard many flights too. Though for an international flight I might feel differently!

  7. Francesca One Girl: One World

    January 13, 2015 at 10:11 PM

    This was a great post, really informative! I almost booked with them last year but found something else. Glad I know these things now because they have such low fares! Thabks for sharing

  8. rafiquaisraelexpress

    January 14, 2015 at 10:12 PM

    OMG this flight actually sounds awful. When it comes to short international flights I don’t mind suffering. I expereinced the above on multiple Air Asia flights. But a long haul flight? Gosh I think I might pay more 🙁

  9. Michelle Dunner

    January 15, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    I flew Norwegian from Stockholm to Budapest. I bought my luggage allowance in advance although I had a hard time convincing the check-in person at Arlanda of that fact – especially as I didn’t have access to a printer and could only show my confirmation on my iPad. The rest of the trip was absolutely fine. I have flown long haul on budget airlines (no food, no blankets etc) but I’m prepared for that. Whenever you fly budget, that has to be the motto – be prepared to look after your basic needs or pay a premium.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      January 16, 2015 at 12:04 PM

      Well said Michelle! As I said, it wasn’t a bad airlines but there are so many people who don’t realize what is and isn’t included and could easily be surprised with $100-200 of extra charges if they don’t prepare themselves.

  10. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    January 21, 2015 at 1:05 PM

    It’s a good thing you did your research. I can see why they’re able to make the airfare so cheap, but it sounds like you can easily compensate for what’s lacking without spending that much money.

  11. Brant

    January 23, 2016 at 4:08 PM

    Hey Ashley and readers,

    Here’s a hot tip for you. If you book your Norwegian Airlines tickets from the “Norway” version of the website instead of the “USA” version you will incur a substantial additional savings. I am booking to basic tickets from LAS to CPH round trip on Feb. 16- Feb. 23. The USA site totals to $700.00. The Norway version totals to $599.00. Of course it is all in Danish, so you will have to translate some of it, but look at the USA version first to see how it works.
    Happy Travels!!

    • LHoglin

      December 11, 2016 at 1:13 PM

      Thanks for the tip!!!! We just bought our tickets, RT LAX to Gatwick, but there will be future trips!!!

  12. Liz

    April 25, 2016 at 6:31 PM

    Hi Ashley!

    What backpack did you use for your trip? I’m booking a cheap European trip this summer and I’m trying to decide what backpack to bring!

    Thanks!

  13. Belida

    January 8, 2017 at 1:57 AM

    Great advice. Thanks for writing this.

  14. Julie

    March 12, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    HI Ashley,
    Were they super strict about their baggage size policy? The width of my bag is 10″ and the width on the website says 9. Did they measure it? Weigh it?

    • Ashley Hubbard

      March 13, 2017 at 4:34 PM

      They did not weigh or measure mine, but I did notice them doing it to others. I KNEW mine was over the weight though so I carried it as if it was super light (fake it til ya make it!) and it worked. You can also hand-carry cameras and laptops and wear several clothing items. I think you could get by with 1″ extra on the measuring, but don’t take my word for it.

  15. echo

    June 4, 2017 at 8:59 PM

    Hi Ashley, thank youfor the heads up on keeping warm I so hate to be cold and hungry, We leavein four days, so glad I found your site.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      June 19, 2017 at 8:15 AM

      Yes, I don’t do well the cold either! Hope your trip went okay 🙂

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